08-19-2012, 05:39 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
It is good you are getting the 55g for the goldfish. On the pleco, is this a common pleco? They can attain 18 inches and will be a steady source of waste. I would return it if it is this species, this is frankly not a good aquarium fish unless you have a huge tank.
On cycling the new tank, you need to "seed" the tank with the nitrifying bacteria. Bacteria colonize surfaces, so using water from an existing tank is not going to do this, plus it will move over pathogens and stuff you don't want in the new tank. Here's a paragraph from one of our member's post on cycling [the entire article is stickied at the head of this section]:
As mentioned above, beneficial bacteria live almost exclusively on the surfaces in your aquarium, not in the aquarium water itself. Thankfully, this means that it's relatively easy to "kick start" the cycle, no matter which method you're using, by "seeding" your tank with bacteria from an already established tank. There are a number of ways to do this. The simplest is to simply move some of the decor (driftwood, rocks, plants, artificial decor) from the established tank into the cycling tank, bringing bacteria with it. You can put bacteria-rich substrate into a mesh bag and put this in your filter or in a high-flow area on top of the cycling tank's substrate. Perhaps the best seeding method is to literally move some filter media (sponges, ceramic rings, filter floss, etc.) from an established tank's filter into the cycling tank's filter. When moving decor, substrate or filter media from an established tank to the cycling tank, be sure to keep any of these materials wet as any beneficial bacteria they house will die if the material dries out. If it's not possible to physically move the filter media, you can squeeze the media into the cycling tank's filter, which deposits some bacteria on your new filter's media and on the other surfaces in your tank. Because very few bacteria actually live in the water column, moving water from an established tank to a new cycling tank is ineffective as a means of seeding the new tank. There are also "bacteria in a bottle" products designed to add beneficial bacteria directly to your tank, some even claiming that they'll instantly cycle your tank for you. If you choose to use one of these products, make sure that you go for the type that needs to be refrigerated (bacteria are living organisms, after all). Results seem to be mixed with some reporting great success and others saying the product didn't seem to make a difference. While seeding a tank can have observable positive effects on the aquarium cycle it is not a substitute for cycling but rather a means to aid it. For this reason, caution should be taken not to place too much stress on whatever bacteria might have been introduced as it takes time for them to multiply.
With respect to the bacterial supplements, I have used Seachem's Stability
with success. There is also Tetra's SafeStart
. And a product called Dr. Tim's One and Only
. All three are 100% live bacteria.